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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    DREAMers on edge over Trump on fifth anniversary of protected status

    DREAMers on edge over Trump on fifth anniversary of protected status

    Alan Gomez , USA TODAY
    Published 3:04 a.m. ET June 15, 2017

    Five years ago Thursday, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to protect hundreds of thousands of "DREAMers," undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation.

    President Trump has allowed DACA to continue — at least for now. That has enraged critics of the program, who oppose any leniency for undocumented immigrants, and struck fear in enrollees and applicants, who worry Trump will shut it down at any time.

    "It's a feeling of knowing there's something in your hands that's working, but at the same time, there's a level of anxiety," said Greisa Martinez, 28, a Mexican native and DACA enrollee who works for United We Dream, a coalition of young undocumented immigrants in Washington, D.C. "We are on high alert about what's going to happen with our program."

    The program requires applicants to show they have haven't committed any serious crimes, attended school or joined the military, and arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16. If approved, they receive a two-year reprieve from deportation, a work permit and the opportunity to renew their DACA status if they stay out of trouble.

    Ever since, more than 780,000 have been accepted, with most now on their second or third renewal.

    Trump had vowed throughout his presidential campaign to end the program, which he described as "amnesty" for undocumented immigrants and an abuse of Obama's presidential powers.

    "People were very much waiting with baited breath to see what happened," said Michael Jarecki, an immigration attorney in Chicago. "The entire DACA community was afraid of the program being pulled."

    That led to a rush of applications while Obama was still in the White House. More than 114,000 people applied from October to December of 2016, up 128% from the same period the year before.

    After Trump took office, he allowed the program to continue, arguing that DREAMers represent a unique population who deserve to be treated "with heart." That decision angered some supporters. Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration, said he hears member complaints every day about Trump's failure to abolish DACA.

    "We regard this as being a really clearly broken promise," Beck said. "A lot of people say, 'He's in a tough situation, it's hard for him to make a lot of things happen.' But this was an executive order, so he can stop it. You really can't say that the courts or Congress or anybody else is in the way."

    Supporters of the program initially did not know what to make of Trump's failure to scrap DACA. Jarecki said his clients were all in a holding pattern, but finally decided in early February the program would remain and they could resume their applications.

    "I don't know what happened, I don't know what factor touched him, but I'm pleased to see that the program is continuing," he said.

    These undocumented immigrants thought they could stay. Trump says deport them.

    It's not known how many applications have been approved during Trump's presidency. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said more than 124,000 applications were approved from January to March. But that period included 20 days under Obama, and the agency did not say how many were approved while he was still in office.

    The excitement by DACA supporters that the program was still in effect turned to dread when it became clear that enrollees were not safe from deportation. On average, the Obama administration revoked the DACA status and deported seven people a month. In Trump's first full month in office, the administration deported 43 former DACA enrollees.

    The Trump administration said enrollees still could be deported at any moment. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a March 9 tweet, "DACA is not a protected legal status." Then more DACA enrollees started getting rounded up.

    In January, Customs and Border Protection officers deported DACA enrollee Juan Manuel Montes, 23, who claims he was simply waiting for a ride in his southern California city when he was picked up and sent across the border.

    Daniel Ramirez Medina, 24, a native of Mexico, has been held in a Washington state detention center since February after ICE agents arrested him and claimed he had gang ties, a claim he rejects.

    On Monday, a federal judge in Atlanta ordered the government to reinstate the DACA status of Jessica Colotl, a Mexico native whose status was stripped by federal agents who claimed she gave a false address to local police six years ago.

    Those stepped-up enforcement actions have made DACA recipients nervous about their future. "The feeling back in 2012 was (DACA) was a step in the right direction to something more permanent for these kids, like permanent legal status or citizenship," said Katie Sarreshteh, a Los Angeles immigration attorney who has helped hundreds of people prepare their DACA applications.

    "Instead of feeling that optimism now, I'm worried they're going to betray all these kids who have come forward and handed over all their information to the federal government," Sarreshteh said. "It's sad."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    'Dreamers' Fear Trump's Immigration Plans on DACA's Fifth Anniversary

    By Harriet Sinclair
    6/15/17 at 5:20 PM

    Five years after the enactment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, "dreamers" remain uncertain about their future.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) highlighted the importance of retaining the program, which was started under President Barack Obama's administration.

    “Protecting DACA is not only central for immigrants’ rights, it is deeply personal,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy and campaigns at the ACLU. “DACA has provided members of my own family and community the opportunity to live fuller and better lives, no longer restrained by the threat of deportation. Here at the ACLU and so many other organizations, we are grounded in the fight to defend and advance the rights of immigrants of all walks of life. DACA is a lifeline and a reminder that this country still believes in all of our potential and welcomes our contributions.”

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    Applications for the program fell in the first three months of Donald Trump’s presidency, although they have risen slightly since then, NBC News reported. Applications from January to March fell 4,932 on those from October to December, with the number standing at 10,362 for the first three months of the year.

    And those people who were applying for the DACA program now fear the outcome of their application, said Greisa Martínez, advocacy and policy director for United We Dream.

    “Those who are applying for DACA and renewing are having conversations similar to those they had when the program first went into effect," Martínez told NBC, explaining people were concerned that providing information would put themselves and their loved ones in danger.

    “Trump is pushing forward a campaign against our families,” Martínez added. “I think every day you find our members and ourselves looking at Trump’s Twitter, looking for any sign of what’s going to happen to the program.”

    President Trump has said recipients of the DACA program are not a priority for deportation, but groups advocating for undocumented immigrants have suggested the policy environment under Trump’s administration is threatening the stability of DACA recipiants.

    In a statement on the anniversary, the Center for Law and Social Policy said in a statement: “Although the Trump Administration has claimed DACA recipients are not affected by the new guidelines and has not made any formal decisions regarding the continuation of the DACA program, at least two DACA recipients, Daniel Ramirez and Daniela Vargas, were detained and placed into removal proceedings, and at least one dreamer, Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez, was deported and is currently suing the federal government.”
    Last edited by Judy; 06-16-2017 at 10:11 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Federal judge orders Trump admin to reinstate Dreamer's revoked DACA status

    By Gabe Ortiz
    Tuesday Jun 13, 2017 · 12:17 PM EST

    Donald Trump faced yet another defeat in court this week after a federal judge ordered his administration to reinstate Jessica Colotl’s DACA status, finding federal immigration officials were “unable to provide the Court the actual reason for the decisions to terminate Plaintiff’s DACA status and deny her renewal application.”

    Last month, immigration officials “suddenly and arbitrarily” revoked Colotl’s protection from deportation, claiming she had previously pled guilty to a felony conviction. But this was yet another lie from a blatantly dishonest administration—there was no guilty plea. Government attorneys were later forced to backtrack on their claim in court.

    Additionally, U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen ordered federal immigration officials to reconsider Colotl’s application, which should never have been denied in the first place considering the Obama administration had twice accepted Colotl into the DACA program. Unlike most folks in the Trump regime, Dreamers undergo a vetting:

    Colotl, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 11, said she’s relieved by the judge’s ruling for herself, and for other young people brought into the country illegally as children who are often referred to as “dreamers.”

    “It makes me happy to know that there is hope for many dreamers out there and that we can continue fighting together so we can live in the country that we've called home for so many years,” she said.

    The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.

    Colotl’s attorney said her case could set a strong precedent for other DACA cases, since Trump, his DHS Sec. John Kelly, and ICE are showing a disturbing pattern of targeting young immigrants with protection from deportation despite recent, empty claims they wouldn’t. Remember, Trump promised during his campaign to kill DACA on day one of his presidency, but now that he’s actually in office, he’s attacking Dreamers in ways that don’t force him to undo the program itself.

    Colotl’s attorney said, “I believe this case actually sets the standard for [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services] going forward in, one, following its own rules, but also ensuring that other DACA recipients who may be treated unjustly like Jessica won’t be afraid to go to court and to exercise their rights under the law.” Advocates will be paying close attention—remember that while Colotl’s DACA is back, there’s no guarantee her renewal will be approved by federal immigration officials.

    Nevertheless, she persists: “I’m so thankful that I’m getting my work permit back and, essentially, getting my life back to being normal.”
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  4. #4
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    I hope the DOJ appeals this ruling. The courts have no business involving themselves in who is and isn't accepted into DACA. The DACA program was put into place by the Obama administration, not the U.S. Congress, which means the Trump administration can basically do anything they want with the program. If they want to alter or completely change the rules, than so be it!
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